Three more challengers have qualified to run for seats on the Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors as of Wednesday.
Democrat Clint McCain has qualified to run for the District 1 supervisor seat currently held by Republican John Montgomery.
Another Democrat, Leonardo Thompson, has thrown his hat in the ring for District 4, challenging Republican incumbent Bricklee Miller and Democrat and former District 4 Supervisor Daniel Jackson, who works as a school teacher in the Choctaw County School District.
Republican Dennis Daniels qualified for the District 3 race, challenging Democrat Marvell Howard. The primary is set for Aug. 6, with an Aug. 27 runoff. The general election is scheduled for Nov. 5, with a runoff date of Nov. 26. Qualifying opened Jan. 2, and will close on March 1.
Thompson was born in Starkville, and is a Lifelong resident of Oktibbeha County. He currently works as a residential therapist in Winston County, and has served as a teacher and football coach in both the former Starkville School District and Oktibbeha County School District.
He is also a volunteer firefighter for the county. This will be his first time seeking political office, although he attempted to run for supervisor eight years ago, but was unable to because of confusion about district lines. He said infrastructure was one of his biggest issues.
“I’m just trying to bridge the gap with the county supervisors and the county employees,” Thompson said. “I’m just wanting to be a voice for the county employees, giving them an opportunity to come to the supervisors and voice their opinions.”
He said many of the county roads posed a danger to citizens and to county firefighters.
“There are just so many dirt roads in Oktibbeha County,” Thompson said. “At this time, many of those roads should be paved.”
In addition to Miller, Thompson also faces former District 4 Supervisor Daniel Jackson, a Democrat who lost to Miller in the November 2015 General Election.
McCain is a 1989 Starkville High School alumnus and lifelong Oktibbeha County resident, who is seeking office for the first time. He is employed by MaxxSouth Broadband as a regional warehouse manager.
“I just want to serve Oktibbeha County and be a voice for the people of District 1,” McCain said.
McCain said he hoped to improve the county government.
“As a matter of fact, all of the county government (issues are) important to me,” McCain said. “One’s not more important than the other.”
So far, Montgomery is McCain’s sole opponent.
Daniels will run his third race for the District 3 seat, following previous contests in 2015 and 2011. In the 2011 race, Daniels lost to Howard by three votes.
Daniels is a former Starkville Police Officer and Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Deputy, as well as a Mississippi Army National Guard veteran. While serving in the National Guard, Daniels was wounded in Iraq in 2004 and medically retired after 18 years of service. He said being medically retired would enable him to be a full-time supervisor.
“I will be out there on the roads every day,” Daniels said. “It’s not going to be like others that have full-time jobs.”
He listed economic development as one of his biggest issues. “I really want to focus on bringing some jobs to Oktibbeha County, working with the LINK, working with the city, working with the university, all of those together.” Daniels said. “I think I’ve got some really good ideas.”
Daniels holds a master’s in public policy and administration from Mississippi State University.
In addition to Howard, he will face Rudy Johnson, the current director of the Golden Triangle Planning and Development District.